All about loans for self-employed workers in South Africa
Most lenders in South Africa have a list of requirements that include payslips, a regular monthly income, and proof that you are permanently employed. This makes it quite difficult and sometimes impossible for self-employed people to qualify for any type of loan.
The main reason why lenders prefer people who are employed is because they’re considered to be lower risk. In other words, there is a better chance that someone who is employed will be able to repay a loan compared to someone without a job or regular income.
The good news is, as a South African, you can still qualify for a loan even when you “write your own paycheck”. Here, we give guidance on finding the best loans for the self-employed, whether you run your own small business or are a freelancer, contract worker, or sole trader.
How does a personal loan for self-employed people work?
As a self-employed person, you can either get a secured or unsecured loan. The difference between the two is that with a secured loan, you have to provide an asset as security for the loan. On the other hand, an unsecured personal loan requires no security but usually has a higher interest rate.
Below are some of the features of loans for self-employed people:
- You can borrow an amount that ranges from R2 000 to R300 000: The credit provider usually looks at your income history to see how much you can afford.
- The loans have flexible payment terms, from 6 up to 72 months: You can repay your loan at a pace that suits your monthly budget.
- The interest rates are customised according to your personal risk profile: That means you can get a lower interest rate if you have already established a good credit score in your name.
- The application process is straightforward: Usually, you can apply online and get approved without visiting the lender’s offices.
Where can you get a loan for the self-employed?
If you browse through our comparison tables, you’ll find several featured lenders who offer personal loans for the self-employed in South Africa. At CompareLoans, we’re dedicated to showcasing relevant information about all types of loans, including those for self-employed workers. You can use our service to compare different lenders at zero cost. Below are some lenders who offer loans for self-employed people:
- Wonga – You can borrow short term funds of up to R4000 as a new customer and up to R8000 if you’re an existing customer.
- Nedbank – Nedbank self-employed loans range from R2000 to R300 000 if you have a monthly income of more than R3 500.
- FNB – If you qualify, you can borrow up to R300 000.
- Absa – You can qualify for a personal or smaller personal loan if your bank statements show that you earn a regular, monthly income of R2000 or R1500 respectively.
- Capitec – If you’re self-employed and receive your monthly salary from your business, you can borrow up to R250 000. However, informally self-employed people such as freelancers and sole traders may not be able to qualify.
- Standard Bank – Standard Bank also offers vehicle and home loans for the self-employed. In this case, your business financial statements and a statement of your personal assets and liabilities will be required.
What are the requirements for loans for self-employed people?
The most important factor when trying to get a loan if you are self-employed is to show the lender enough evidence that you can be trusted to pay back the loan. To apply for such a loan, you might need to meet the following requirements:
Personal loans for the self-employed
- Have a valid South African bank account that receives a regular income;
- You should have a valid South African ID;
- Proof of income such as your most recent bank statements; and
- Proof of residence – you can use a utility bill.
Home loans for the self-employed
- A declaration of all your finances and assets;
- Your most recent IT34 from SARS;
- A letter confirming your average monthly income preferably from your auditor; and
- Have a deposit amount ready.
Vehicle finance loans for the self-employed
- Have a deposit amount ready;
- Be a holder of a valid South African driver’s license.
Loan providers will typically use this information to assess whether you can comfortably afford to repay the loan. Under the terms of the National Credit Act, all registered credit providers are required to practice responsible lending. Therefore, the amount you get approved for depends on your income.
What type of loans are available for self-employed people?
- Personal loans: You can either get a secure or an unsecured personal loan if you are self-employed. When you apply for a personal loan in South Africa, your credit history usually gets checked before the loan amount is made available.
- Home loans: You can take out this loan to get your dream home, even if you are not formally employed. The lender will have to do a lengthy assessment to ensure that you can afford such a loan.
- Vehicle finance: If you need to finance your vehicle, you can get a secured or unsecured car loan.
- Self-employed loans fast payout: These types of loans are obtained online. You do not need any complicated documentation. The lender usually only needs proof of income to confirm your ability to pay back the loan.
How does the application process work?
In many ways, the loan application for the self-employed is similar to that of regular loans for employed people. However, the application process might take longer since the lender needs more time to verify that you can afford to make the necessary monthly repayments.
To apply, you can click on your preferred lender’s “Go to Site” link in the comparison tables above. This automatically redirects you to their website. Most lenders often have an easy and fast online application process. Generally, you will have to upload the required documents from your device and fill in the application form provided. After applying, all you have to do is wait for the lender’s response. If you qualify, you’ll receive a loan offer.
How to improve your chances of getting a loan for the self-employed
- Maintain a good credit score: Lenders will most likely check your credit score to determine whether they should offer you a loan. Having a good credit score and history increases your chances of approval, and it also helps you get a lower interest rate. Find out more about how to improve your credit score.
- Save up some deposit: Make sure you have enough money saved for a deposit if you need a vehicle finance loan or a home loan.
- Organise your paperwork: Ensure that you have all the financial records required by your preferred credit provider in place. For example, if you’re taking out a home loan, comparative financials for the last 2 or 3 years may be required.
- Get help from an expert: Hiring an accountant or an auditor to help you with your financial records and tax returns can save you time and work when you’re making a loan application. In addition, for home loans, you can have an experienced bond originator who can carry out the application on your behalf, which increases your chances of approval.
How to use a loan for the self-employed
- You can use it to cover unexpected financial emergencies.
- If you need to pay for home repairs, you can take out a personal loan.
- You can use the money as capital to start a business.
- The loan can be used to consolidate your debt.
Benefits of loans for the self-employed
You can use this loan to cover a wide range of financial needs, such as business costs or personal costs. This type of loan also works very well for emergencies since some self-employed loans have fast payouts. For your convenience, CompareLoans has partnered with several lenders, as you’ll see in the comparison tables above. If you have had trouble securing funds as a self-employed individual in the past, you’re likely to find a loan product that works for you.
Are there loans for low credit scores and the self-employed people in South Africa?
Yes. It is possible to get a personal, home, or vehicle finance loan for the self-employed, even if you have low credit. However, many institutions that provide loans for low credit scores and self-employed people in the same package usually charge high interest rates or require you to put up security. For example, you can take out a loan to finance a vehicle for your business. If the loan is secured, you risk losing the vehicle if you fail to pay your instalments. This also applies if you’re self-employed and blacklisted or have bad credit.
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